Another ongoing debate about marijuana revolves around addiction. Is marijuana addiction real? I believe it really all depends on who you ask. I also believe it depends on who you are. A person with an addictive personality is more at risk of marijuana addiction, which can open up the doors for other addictions.
I remember my days in school where all I could think about was going home and getting baked. I would soon start showing signs of marijuana addiction. I was a full-blown marijuana addict by the time my senior year came around. I would skip class with friends to go get high. Once I got enrolled into college, smoking weed became my priority over studying and concentrating on my college education. I would smoke before class, going in stoned and not being able to concentrate. I smoked after class and pretty much spent any free time I had trying to get and stay high. I would lie to my parents for money or steal it so I could pitch in on some weed with my friends. I "borrowed" one of my dad's credit cards so I could buy ounces at a time. I even used the money from my college book return to buy weed. The more I look back, these were definitely the behaviors of an addict—lying, cheating, stealing for money, skipping school, academic failure, and wanting to be high all the time. I do want to make one thing clear, though. I do believe there is a difference between a marijuana addict and a marijuana enthusiast.
The key difference as with anything is moderation and self-control. Some people, such as myself, loved getting high too much. I would resort to any means necessary just for my next toke, the same way as any drug addict. I would consider myself a marijuana addict in that respect. Marijuana enthusiasts are those who have self-control. They do not engage in addictive behaviors like I did. They do not feel the need to get high in order to live and they can function without it. Don’t get me wrong, I was enthusiastic about marijuana but a little too much. Self-control, moderation and taking adult responsibilities over getting high are the characteristics of a marijuana enthusiast. They know when to toke and when to say no.
Is marijuana an addictive substance?
Any substance that creates a want or need to alter feelings, perception, mind, or mood can be addictive. Sugar and caffeine are considered to be addictive, so I believe marijuana certainly qualifies. I will agree, however, that marijuana is not nearly addictive or dangerous as alcohol or other drugs. Can marijuana be addictive? Yes, it certainly can, depending on the person. A person with an addictive personality by nature can make marijuana become an addiction, which is what happened in my case. Which leads to the next debate...
Can marijuana lead to other addictions?
The biggest debate on marijuana is whether or not it is a gateway drug that can go from one addiction to another. Again, I believe it all depends on the person. After people experience marijuana, it can create a curiosity for other substances. Some people stick to what they trust and know while others let curiosity get the best of them. There are a lot of scenarios that could happen that can lead to other drugs. Using marijuana could open up the doors for experimentation. This is because marijuana can make a person a lot more open-minded and more vulnerable to trying other drugs. Boredom with marijuana could lead someone to want to try something new. A person could be hanging out with friends or at a party and someone tempts them with something they have never tried before. The scenarios are endless.
I have come to the final conclusion that marijuana can become an addiction as well as lead to other addictions but it really does all come down to the individual. I am not saying marijuana turns everyone into a drug addict by any means, however, it does increase the possibilities once introduced to mind-altering substances. Some people are more at risk than others.